A New Mutation - Seafoam Yellow Faced or Kerle Face Blue

By Nigel Tonkin

Seafoam Adult   Seafoam Chick   Sire   Dam

On a visit to the aviaries of Kevin O’Callaghan in Rockhampton Queensland in 2010 a couple of birds that did not appear to be the norm stood out. These birds had a Yellow Face with no yellow in the cap. The cap was white in fact almost whiter than white if this could be so.

On asking Kevin where these birds originated, he advised Graeme Kerle of Townsville in Queensland.

Graham produced from a Yellow Faced Opaline Cobalt hen (purchased at auction from Ernie Wise of New South Wales) and a Spangle Grey cock – non yellow faced (purchased from Robert Manvel also of New South Wales in one of his sale lots) 2 x Spangle Yellow Faced Sky cocks, 1 x Spangle Yellow Faced Sky hen, 1 x Spangle Sky cock. This occurred in 2003.

The Yellow Faced progeny were all visual ‘Seafoam’ and were quite obviously different when viewed in the nest. The mask being yellow, the cap white and the body colour ‘Seafoam’. Neither parent had any visual variations to what would be described as ‘normal’ for their respective variety. The initial resultant offspring from this pairing suggest that the Spangle was not a Double Factor Yellow face.

The term ‘Seafoam’ was nominated by Jennie Liebich as soon as she sighted them; the body colour in each resembled the colour of the sea just below the foam of a breaking wave. ‘Seafoam’ does not reflect the mask and cap colouration, but the body colour only.

Realistically they could be called ‘Kerle Faced Blue’ to reflect the origins or ‘Seafoam Yellow Face’ to embrace Jennie’s initial artistic interpretation.

The pairings at Graeme’s resulted in nests averaging 70% visual ‘Seafoam’ with the non visual still carrying the trait as ‘Seafoams’ were bred from these non-visual pairings. Visual ‘Seafoams’ to Normal Green series birds resulted in visual Blue series (non Seafoam), and Opaline Green hens, these paired back to Blue series (Non visual Seafoam) then gave a very high visual result in ‘Seafoam’ of about 60%, this being Graeme’s assessment.

When the first of these ‘Seafoam’ birds were produced, Graeme, as I understand it, gave a couple to a backyard breeder not knowing what he had produced. Kevin noticed some on a visit to Grahams and was fortunate enough to obtain some to breed with and Kevin then was kind enough to gift a couple to Jennie for her to work with.

The pair that arrived with Jennie back to Mount Gambier were both visual ‘Seafoams’, one being Normal and the other a Spangle, these produced chicks and we were overjoyed to see that a couple were ‘Seafoams’. The resultant chicks did not seem to have a long life expectancy thus a number of outcrosses occurred quickly to try and ensure that the strain remained. Note that at Grahams he did not have the same issue; it may have been that the birds that arrived at Mount Gambier were a ‘little’ close.

On pairing non visual to visual, there are now a couple of ‘out crossed’ visual birds to work with. There are others that have been paired to non-visuals with no resultant visuals as yet thus more ‘proofing’ will be required to fully ascertain breeding possibilities.

Graham and Kevin have sent down some further birds that are non-visual that have produced this new variety for them and to these two gentlemen Jennie and I cannot thank them enough for giving us the opportunity to work with these and the previous pair of birds. One interesting occurrence is that we now have a Green with a Yellow Mask and White cap – and produced from two blues???

This information is being released to share with others this new mutation and to also see if changes are occurring elsewhere in the world of a similar nature. It is a bit premature to determine the breeding habits of this variety, noting that it is Dominant but other surprises might present.

I believe the Spangle has something to do with this mutation and other aviaries that I have visited recently have changes occurring and all of these go back to the Spangle parentage. It is interesting as Roy Aplin of the United Kingdom painted birds similar to these some years ago predicting such a change might occur.



W.B.O.  Recognises the Anthracite.

The World Budgerigar Organisation has officially recognised the Anthracite mutation as a new variety. A Colour Standard has been issued.

The Anthracite mutation first appeared in Germany in 1998. It has since spread to several European countries as well as the United States and Canada. There are no Anthracites in Australia yet.

The true anthracite colour is only visible in Double Factor in the blue series. In Single Factor the gene merely darkens the colour of the feathers. For example a single factor anthracite sky blue looks almost like a cobalt.

A Double Factor Anthracite Sky Blue is pictured at left. Other examples of Anthracites are shown below:


SF Anthracite Sky Blue

DF Anthracite Olive

DF Anthracite Spangle Sky Blue

DF Anthracite Sky Blue Chick






Apart from photo competitions, it's a good idea to to keep a photographic record of your birds. In a few years you can look back to see how much progress your stud has made.

It's easy to make a photo cage. All you need is a standard show cage and a picture frame suitable for a 28 x 35cm (11 x 14 inch) picture or photo.

After removing the cage front, cut two narrow strips from the backing cardboard of the picture frame. Glue or tack these along the top and bottom edges on the front of the cage. The reason for this is to provide a flow of air through the cage from side to side.

Then screw the picture frame holding the glass to the front of the cage. Only one perch at the centre of the cage is required. Take photos at slight angle to the cage so that flash is not reflected in the glass.



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The Pet Budgerigar
The Rare Varieties and Breeding them.
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The Budgerigar Book by Dr. Rob Marshall

This is the definitive book provides Budgerigar breeders with detailed information on all aspects of keeping and exhibiting. The first 7 chapters cover the relationship of the wild budgerigar with its natural environment' Nutrition required for breeding success with exhibition budgerigars, genetics and breeding systems needed to produce show features are covered in the next  9 chapters. Health and diseases are covered in the final 13 chapters.

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